Ask Dr. J

Ask Dr. J

by Janan Broadbent, Ph.D

Friday, February 17, 2017

Passion: Need More or Less?

Both in the relationship and in career / work-life contexts, passion is mentioned as a desirable characteristic and feeling. Merriam Webster defines passion as “a strong feeling of enthusiasm or excitement for something or about doing something.” There is much research on the desirability of passion towards one’s career and job and how it leads to a happier work situation. When it comes to passion in a relationship, what we are talking about? It’s intensity of feeling, and not only necessarily in a sexual state. The question is: How passionate do you want your partner to be, and how passionate are you?

Friday, January 20, 2017

Hibernate and Connect

Winter is the season all living beings including homo sapiens tend to mentally go into themselves and basically hibernate. It is a time of reflection and the physical body wants to hold on to all of its resources. Leftover from eons ago, our biological mechanisms conserve energies to get ready, in the spring, for another cycle of re-growth and new beginnings. So how do we handle our relationships within this framework?

Friday, January 06, 2017

2017 Here Already?

One can have all kinds of conflicting feelings about one year ending and a new one beginning, depending on how perceptions of the past events and the future ones may range. I’ve never found “New Year’s resolutions” to be useful, but that may work for some. Today, I want to focus on optimism, that general feeling that what lies ahead looks pretty decent! Yet this feeling is not as simple as it sounds, because how it’s felt emotionally and what is reported verbally may differ.

Friday, December 23, 2016


You know that cliché of the old year (why always a man?) exiting stage left and the new baby year appearing? Well, here we are, counting the days till the end of this year of 2016, great for some, terrible for others, and perhaps so-so for most… Are you going to watch the ball drop at Times Square? Or the fireworks as other countries in differing time zones celebrate?

Friday, December 09, 2016

The Blame Game

So you broke up. Or didn’t get the gift you expected. Or an occasion was not remembered. Or a promotion was given to someone else. Or you dropped that glass mug and broke it.

How do you deal with that situation? With anger? Sadness? Disappointment? Frustration? Resentment? These are all emotions that can be generated by such unfortunate events. However, once we get calmer, how do we interpret these happenings in the larger context of life?

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Can We Heal?

As I write this, I know the readers will be seeing it with all the hubbub of Thanksgiving. Our country is going through a difficult time: If you, like me, felt the disappointment of what happened on November 8, you know this was more than just an election who was won by someone you did not support. It was a sense of doom and dread that the progress, the hopes, and the positive outlook that had been generated in the last several years were going to be lost. I think of marriage equality. I think of the changing attitudes towards the LGBTQ community. I think of the advances for climate change, for the environment and in healthcare insurance. And the pit in my stomach feels heavy.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Holidays Upon Us

Does that title make you feel all warm and fuzzy, or does it fill you with dread? Either way, why? We have all heard the perennial jokes about Uncle Ed who gets tipsy at every Thanksgiving dinner and starts to hassle everyone about their political beliefs or Aunt Mary who wants everyone to eat five helpings of turkey with gravy and cranberry sauce. Those aside, it seems more common to hear about difficult situations especially involving partners’ parents or families. What to make of this?


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